A caramel apple with nuts can contain anywhere from 300 to 800 calories, depending on the size of the apple, amount of caramel and nuts, and type of nuts used. A medium apple with a moderate amount of caramel and 1 ounce of peanuts or almonds will have around 500-600 calories.
Calculating Caramel Apple Calories
The total calories in a caramel apple comes from three main components:
The apple itself provides 100-150 calories depending on the size. A small apple has around 100 calories, while a large apple has up to 150 calories. The variety of apple makes little difference in calories.
Store-bought caramel or caramel dip adds a significant amount of calories. Two tablespoons of caramel sauce contains about 120 calories. More caramel means more calories.
Nuts add healthy fats and protein but also calories. One ounce of peanuts has 170 calories, while 1 ounce of almonds has 170 calories. So the type of nuts and quantity affects the calories.
Factors Affecting Caramel Apple Calories
Here are some factors that determine the calorie count in caramel apples:
A small apple is around 4 ounces and contains 100 calories. Medium apples are 5-6 ounces with 110-120 calories. Large apples are 8 ounces or more and have up to 150 calories.
Thickness of caramel
More caramel means more calories. A thin layer has around 120 calories while a very thick coating can add over 300 calories.
Type of nuts
Nuts like peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews contain 160-200 calories per ounce. Macadamias are the most calorie-dense at over 200 per ounce.
Amount of nuts
The calories increase with more nuts added. Even a small amount of 1-2 ounces contributes significant calories.
Sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut, etc. add extra calories on top of the basics. Keep toppings minimal to limit calories.
Calorie Ranges for Caramel Apples
Based on the factors above, here are typical calorie ranges for caramel apples:
|Caramel Apple Type||Estimated Calories|
|Small apple with thin caramel||300-400|
|Small apple with thick caramel||350-450|
|Medium apple with thin caramel||350-450|
|Medium apple with thick caramel||400-500|
|Large apple with thin caramel||400-500|
|Large apple with thick caramel||450-600|
|Any size with caramel and 1 oz nuts||500-600|
|Any size with caramel and 2 oz nuts||600-800|
As you can see, a typical medium caramel apple with 1-2 ounces of nuts will run you around 500-600 calories. Very large apples with extra caramel and nuts can creep up to 800 calories.
Tips to Reduce Calories in Caramel Apples
Here are some tips to make caramel apples a little less caloric:
Choose small apples
Go for apples that are around 4 ounces to minimize the base calories. Granny Smith and Gala apples tend to be smaller.
Apply a thin caramel layer
Limit the caramel to a light coating instead of dunking the entire apple. This prevents excess dripping.
Use just 1 ounce of nuts
Sprinkle lightly with nuts instead of fully coating the apple. Just 16-18 nuts provide 1 ounce.
Use lower-calorie nuts
Almonds, cashews, and pistachios have slightly fewer calories per ounce than peanuts or macadamias.
Omit extra toppings
Skip the chocolate chips, sprinkles, coconut and other extra toppings that add more calories.
Share with a friend
Cut the apple in half and share it to cut the calories in half. A little goes a long way for this treat.
Add apple slices
Alternate bites of caramel apple with fresh apple slices to add volume with fewer calories.
Healthier Caramel Apple Options
If you want to lighten up your caramel apple but still enjoy the flavors, here are some options:
Bake apples filled with caramel and nuts to reduce the amount of topping needed.
Top sliced apples with a little caramel sauce, nuts, and shredded coconut.
Layer diced apples, caramel, nuts, and whipped cream in a parfait glass.
Greek yogurt dip
Swap caramel sauce for protein-packed Greek yogurt mixed with a little honey or maple syrup.
Sweet cottage cheese
Use shredded apple instead of caramel and mix in cinnamon, nutmeg, and nuts into cottage cheese.
Making Your Own Low-Calorie Caramel Sauce
You can easily make homemade low-calorie caramel sauce with just a few ingredients:
– 1 cup Swerve or erythritol sweetener
– 1 cup heavy whipping cream or vegan coconut cream
– 1/4 cup butter or vegan butter
– 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. In a small saucepan, combine the Swerve, cream, and butter over medium heat.
2. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until smooth and thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Allow to cool 15 minutes.
4. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. Keeps for 1-2 weeks.
This light caramel has about 45 calories per tablespoon compared to 120 calories for regular caramel sauce. It’s the perfect topping for creating lower calorie caramel apples and other treats.
The Bottom Line
A medium caramel apple with nuts will cost you around 500-600 calories. Size of apple, thickness of caramel, amount and type of nuts all impact the calories. To lighten up this fall favorite, opt for small apples with a little drizzle of caramel and just an ounce of nuts. Or try one of the healthier recipes using baked apples, Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. With some adjustments, you can enjoy caramel apple goodness for less calories.